Lloyds closes its business bank account operation in Ireland

Lloyds Banking Group has recently reported its intention to discontinue its business banking operations in Ireland, effectively fleeing a country already experiencing severe economic distress.

After indicating that the growth opportunities for business bank accounts in the country were greatly limited, the announcement comes on the heels of the UK-based bank’s shuttering of its Halifax retail branches in Ireland earlier this year.

Lloyds csaid that the  800 staff on its payroll in its Bank of Scotland (Ireland) division would be making the transition to an independently-operated financial service company at a rate of approximately 90 per cent as the loose business banking ends were tied up neatly.

Jobs loss anxiety is running high in Ireland right now as a result of Lloyds’ announcement.  Trade union Unite’s regional officer, Brian Gallagher, remarked that there is uncertainty as to the identity of this new service company, but suspicions have been aroused due to promises made by Lloyds half a year ago that the bank was going to demonstrate commitment to the business banking market in Ireland.

As a result of Halifax closing its doors, approximately 750 staffers were out of work, and with this new announcement, another 36 people can be added to that list of unemployed.

The approximate number of jobs lost in the Irish finance industry since the inception of the economic crisis  began in 2008 is around 6000, said one Irish banking trade union.  Estimates have been made that an additional jobs loss of 4,000 will most likely occur when other financial services providers follow Lloyds in fleeing from Ireland in order to consolidate their holdings.

Lloyds originally inherited both its retail and business banking divisions  in Ireland during its buyout of HBOS, which occurred amidst the chaos and confusion of the global economic crisis.  Any banking operations Lloyds currently has located in Northern Ireland will not be effected by the new announcement.

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